65% of Indian consumers prefer to purchase online via smartphone: Report

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Picture this: You are scrolling through your social media platform of choice and something catches your eye. Your favourite superhero t-shirt is available, in the exact size and shape that you were seeking. Click on the link intending to buy it right away and then, the page takes forever to load, or the website asks you to create an account and when you do, the product is out of stock. Worse still, you make the payment and the merchant site crashes and you are in a limbo about what happened to the order. Frustrating? Yes. Rare occurrence? No.

For almost 400 million people accessing the internet in some form or the other on a regular basis, these friction points are a major roadblock to online shopping. And since most of them shopping online are doing it via their mobile phones, these are a ll on a priority to-do list for brands looking to convert browsers into consumers.

According to a recent report by Google and Accenture Interactive 65 per cent people in India who purchase online seek to do so on smart phones. Consumers are also dependent on their smartphones for preliminary research, they seek out reviews and even compare prices all the time making these mobile sites extremely critical for businesses. Even a three-second delay in loading the websites can result in over 50 per cent of consumers dropping off.

Google and Accenture evaluated over 110 top mobile sites in India to figure out how users access and shop on mobile sites in India and why some websites manage to convert much better than the rest.  The top traits that consumers seek on mobile sites are ease of finding products, clear and intuitive instructions/ symbols on actions, quick registration and payment, visual delight and most importantly the speed of loading the page itself. Not surprisingly, Indian mobile sites score the lowest on speed.

Facebook India director and head of GMS (Global marketing solutions) Sandeep Bhushan notes, “During our research for consumer friction points in their online purchase journey we found that those who complete purchase journeys on mobile complete their online transaction journey much faster, so mobile is already ahead of desktop.” Mobile has become critical with almost eight out of ten purchases being influenced by mobile in some way by 2022, the research found. It is therefore very important that the mobile purchase journey is both sequential to keep the user motivated, but also it is important to ensure that the process takes minimum time. 

“If the user feels that the purchase journey was smooth and easy, that itself is a great motivation for them to come back again or even recommend the experience to someone else,” adds Bhushan.

According to the Google-Accenture report, some of the major players acing  the mobile web experience game in India are BankBazaar, Max Life Insurance, Amazon,Flipkart, Cleartrip and RedBus among others. It is no surprise that these companies also come with their share of popularity translated from the mobile purchase experience of users.

At the end of the day, a stellar consumer experience by all accounts would have to focus on ensuring that the user interface is built such that the user never experiences frustration, delays or lack of direction during their purchase cycle. After all, the next billion users are but waiting to graduate from video to transactions, for that is when the internet will truly unleash its game. 

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